Drake‘s latest piece of body art holds a special place close to his heart.
The rapper debuted his first ever face tattoo on social media on Thursday night, announcing that he got it for his mom, Sandi Graham. Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, got a small, lowercase old english “S” and “G” etched underneath his left eye to stand for his mom’s initials, posting a photo of the final product on his grid. “Sandra Gale,” he captioned the carousel of images in which he shared the results. The tattoo artist responsible for the fresh ink, who goes by the name N.A.L., also shared some footage of the process on his Instagram, showing Drake lying on the parlor table with his eyes closed and the needle hovered over his cheekbone. The Grammy winner has often been outspoken about his love for his mom, crediting her with being supportive of his music career early on.
But Drake isn’t the only member of his family who’s celebrated their lifelong bond by getting a little permanent body art. This week, the “Falling Back” singer also revisited a huge tattoo his dad, Dennis Graham, got on his bicep five years ago depicting the rapper’s face. While most would be flattered by the tribute, the rapper was sent into hysterics all over again. He shared a photo of Dennis’s arm emblazoned with his own image on Instagram, writing in the caption, “I was just sitting here thinking why you do me like this we family,” tagging his dad and adding a handful of laugh-cry emojis. But Dennis took the whole thing in stride, commenting, “I love you and miss you” before adding, “Hahaha I had 16 people to try and straighten this out, they’re hurting me,” with a few of his own laugh-cry emojis.
But one person who wasn’t so thrilled with the critique of his work was the tattoo artist responsible for the rendering of Drake on Dennis’s arm, Money Mike. He told TMZ that he first met Dennis at his birthday party in 2017 and even did the tattoo for free in hopes of generating more clients, despite not being a Drake fan. “When I was done with it, [Dennis] was stoked, his family was stoked, his girlfriend liked it,” Mike recalled. “Drake’s sister liked it, everybody was happy with it. Once Drake found out about it, that changed.” The tattoo artist admits that the final product “isn’t the absolute greatest,” but he says that’s because four hours into the tattoo, Dennis was in severe pain and rushed him to finish the job. But at the end of the day, Mike says he understands “Blood’s thicker than water.”